Blog, SoCS

SoCS – A Red and White Dress

It’s time for another edition of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. First of all, congratulations to Shelley over at Quaint Revival for winning the SoCS badge contest!

Our generous host, Linda Hill, has given us this prompt:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “dress.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!


I was in high school when my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was a hard time for our family. Money was tough to come by.

I had a boyfriend I really liked and he invited me to a dance — a Valentine’s Dance. I was so excited but apprehensive about it because I knew there was no money for frivolous things. What would I wear for such a special occasion?

A few days before the dance, mom asked me to go for a ride with her.

“Where to?” I asked as we climbed into her blue Buick Electra 225.

“Maybe nowhere. Just a drive.”

We drove to a nearby community and mom pulled into a discount department store (maybe a Zayre’s). It did not take long to process the look on her face – she was sneaky proud. Mom wanted me to have a dress for the dance.

Somehow, mom had squirreled away a little money. I remember feeling guilty but also excited. I walked through the junior department and there on the rack was the perfect dress.

I went into the dressing room and tried it on. To me it was beautiful even though looking back it was made with that not-so-fashionable double-knit polyester of the time. The dress was red and white with a lace-up peasant top.

Mom said, “You like it?” and I nodded yes.

We went to the register and paid for that red and white Valentine’s dress. I think it cost $10, but even now, I don’t think I ever had a more beautiful dress.

The funny thing is I do not remember a thing about the dance. I only remember how happy it made my mom when she could buy me that dress. This is one of the times when I learned about the important kind of love between a mother and daughter. The dance didn’t matter and the money didn’t matter and the cancer didn’t matter. Not even the $10 dress mattered.

All that mattered was the love.

Image courtesy of Pixabay (altered)

Check out all the rules on Linda’s blog. Then check the comments to read all the other SoCS posts for today.

Blog

My Recovery Part II: My Two Week Post-Op Appointment. It’s Gonna Be A Hard “No” On Any Disney Outings Any Time Soon.

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My daughter and her sense of humor! She continues to blog about her post-hysterectomy recovery and trust me – reading this I can hear her voice. This is just how she talks — unless of course she is helpless in the hospital wondering if she will live or die. Yes, she worried about that, too. Recovery was a sigh of relief.

I am so thankful you took your doctor’s advice during the recovery. And thank you for sharing your story.

Two Moms And A Toddler

The first two weeks of my recovery following my hysterectomy seemed to move slowly at first and then much quicker as I began to work from home which helped to pass a lot of the time. My mom was still with me ~ fixing my lunch, making sure I took my iron and folic acid, doing dishes, vacuuming my rugs, cleaning my patio and my bathrooms, cooking meals for my family, and keeping me company. She helped me get this blog up and running and started, too. She’s a pretty amazing blogger and you can read her blogs HERE.

On the morning of my two-week post-op appointment with Dr. A. I felt anxious. Before my surgery, I had asked Dr. A. what the recovery time would be and when I could expect to go back to work. He told me it all depends. Some women come in on the…

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Blog, Writing

WordPress, When Will I Learn?

The WordPress Gremlins ate a post I have been working on for weeks. It had 15 saved drafts. Today I published it and it has gone into oblivion. Not in the trash folder, not in drafts and certainly not in published.

I have no desire to write in Word and copy and paste and deal with reformatting.

I do not have the energy to re-write the post. I do not think I could capture the essence of this very sensitive topic.

This is crap.

Blog

Sometimes Women Choose

Image Courtesy of Pixabay (altered)

These thoughts have been swirling in my draft folder for a while. They were brought on months ago and have nothing to do with anything going on in my life right now. Some similar things came up in discussions at the retreat so I know they swirl in the minds of many women.

I have been fortunate to have good relationships with most of the men in my life. They have, for the most part, been kind and understanding men. Men who supported my dreams and whose own dreams I supported. I have, however, experienced issues in the workplace and looking back, even though I leveraged complaints, my concerns were rarely heard.

i remember having an issue with a man in our sales department erupting vocally on me in a very aggressive manner. I complained to my boss, a woman. Instead of filing a larger more formal complaint, the male VP talked me into letting him handle it. I folded. I chose not to ruffle any feathers because I knew they valued the sales guy more than they valued me.

Their way of handling it allowed this man to come into my office with just the two of us, close the door and apologize. It was 20 minutes of a very strange apology. It was frightening. A couple of years later this man killed his wife, their cats and then committed suicide.

You might think this is rare, but I have even seen a male supervisor hurl a coffee cup at a female employee and I had a boss throw his glasses at me.

I was shocked to read this article from Huffington Post about corporate training Ernest & Young conducted as late as 2018 on how women should dress and comport themselves around men in the workplace. It is discouraging.

I welcome my male readers to respond in kind with the things that men sometimes choose. I think it might help us understand each other.

Sometimes women choose…

To stop at a fast-food restaurant bathroom because it feels safer than a rest stop.
To stay home rather than go alone.
To stay silent for fear of not being believed.
To not have children and the reason does not matter.
To leave a good-paying job because of harassment.
To stay when they know they should go.
To fight until they can fight no more.
To cry because they feel something – not always because they are sad.
To laugh rather than cry.
To be alone rather than to try to be someone they are not.
To act like a man so they are not treated like a woman.
To suck it up in order to keep their job.
To stay single.
To have platonic relationships with male friends.
To travel alone and hope to be safe.
To choose a career over everything else.
To choose a family over everything else.
To raise their voice in order to be heard.

Blog

More on Pocket Knives

My Paternal Grandfather – Seated

Yesterday’s post about Swiss Army knives brought up a few memories of my paternal grandfather. I grew up in southwest Virginia, and all men carried a pocket knife. Young boys often received pocket knives as a coming of age gift for a birthday or maybe Christmas.

The knives were never like a Swiss Army knife. The one I most remember from my grandfather might have been a Case two-blade knife with a bone handle. He used this knife for everything. My Dad gave me my grandfather’s knife to pass on to my son and I think I may have it locked away in the safe deposit box. (Note to self: Give this knife to my son.)

These folding knives were sometimes known as a jackknife (and may be where the jackknife dive acquired its name). I do not profess to be a knife expert. There are thousands of different styles and types and materials.

Image courtesy of Pixabay (altered)

In thinking about how this knife was used, I was showered with memories. I can close my eyes and see my grandfather sitting on the porch step whittling away. Whittling is a term used to describe the practice of shaping wood using a knife. Unlike carving, whittling usually produced simple objects, often functional in nature.

For example, if we were roasting marshmallows or hot dogs, a branch would be cut from a tree and the leaves and twigs removed with the knife and the end whittled into a point. Stakes were whittled for gardens and often simple toys like whistles were whittled from a good branch.

Ministry of Information Photo Division Photographer, Agriculture in Britain- Life on George Casely’s Farm, Devon, England, 1942 D9817, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons

Dowsing sticks (also called divining rods or witching sticks) were cut for the practice of finding underground water sources. A dowsing stick is cut from a flexible tree branch that contains a place where the branches fork. The ends were often shaped and designs sometimes carved into the length of the stick. The term ‘water witching’ has nothing to do with magical powers but most likely got its name from the use of a witch hazel branch.

It was important that these knives remained sharp. I remember seeing my grandfathers methodically sharpening their blades on a whet-rock or a whetstone – a finely grained stone used for the purpose of sharpening knives or other tools and implements. (Whetting means to sharpen.) If they had no suitable whet-rock a leather strop was used or even the leather belt they might be wearing.

Beyond cutting branches or rope or vines, the pocket knife was also used to peel or slice an apple out under the apple tree if they were hungry.

The knives were used for grooming, too. I remember my grandfather cutting his nails or cleaning out from under his fingernails with his pocket knife. Might sound gross to think it was also used to cut fruit, but these knives were kept clean and pristine and always sharp.

Memories are certainly a thing of mystery. I never imagined my post yesterday would bring me down this path. All good memories. It’s good to know my synapses are firing.